10 minute rule

You’re eating at a scenic sidewalk cafe in some gorgeous European city. You drop your baguette on the ground. You pick it up casually, and continue eating, flippantly remarking, “10 second rule.”

You’re sitting at a scenic sidewalk cafe, eating lunch with a major media executive, transferring an mp3 of your favorite band to a friend. Feeling a little embarrassed, as if you’ve dropped your baguette in front of this magnate and continued eating, you glance up for her approval. “10 minute rule” she says carelessly.

DVD Jon’s new application, “doubleTwist”, strips the DRM off your iTunes-purchased media, then allows you to share the files with your Facebook friends. The company is VC-backed and made the calculated decision to limit the files they will strip to 10 minutes. The reason is that media companies are more likely to sue them over “pirating” movies instead of songs.

On one hand, it is encouraging that this company feels secure in removing the ham-handed and counter-productive DRM from media files. On the other, a time length restriction feels like a very tangible and painful restriction on creativity and personal expression.

I imagine Project Blue Book really finding a groove at a live show. 9 minutes and 45 seconds in, they get the signal that they need to wrap up in 15 seconds or face legal action.